Childhood hunger has always been a problem that plagues areas of our country, especially in the inner city. Feeding America is an organization that impacts this problem on a daily basis. Feeding America is the nation’s top national hunger-relief charity.
The mission of Feeding America is to provide nourishment for not only children, but the families as well. Feeding America provides for the hungry and engages the country in the battle to end hunger in America. The Charity, through its network of food banks, provides nutritious, fresh foods to Americans in a safe environment. Feeding America also strives to provide a nurturing environment for children, emergency disaster assistance and help for adults that are trying to break the poverty cycle they are in. The battle to end child hunger is being expressed in multiple ways by the organization and one of the programs sponsored by Feeding America is the Kids Café Program.
The Kids Café Program began in 1989 when two brothers were found in the kitchen of the community center in the housing project in which they lived. The brothers had not eaten in a while and were looking for food. The impact, that these two kids were found in a community center kitchen looking for food changed Savannah, Georgia. The Second Harvest Food Bank of Coastal Georgia started the first Kids Café and in 1993, Feeding America launched the national program in place today.
The Kids Café programs offer free meals and snacks to kids in need at community locations that kids congregate at after school. Boys and Girls clubs, churches, schools etc… wherever kids are, the program strives to serve. In addition to providing meals to kids, some programs also offer educational, recreational and social activities under the supervision of trustworthy staff. Another program offered by Feeding America is the Backpack Program.
The Backpack program was conceived in Little Rock after a school nurse saw students coming with stomach aches and dizziness. The nurse realized that the students were hungry and that there wasn’t enough food at home. The school involved the local food bank which began to provide food in backpacks for the kids to carry home to their families. In 1995, the BackPack program launched as a pilot program and in 2006 Feeding America made it part of their national program. Children and their families are enriched by the programs provided by Feeding America all across the country as the charity continues to battle childhood hunger.